The campaign to pass real health care reform in 2009 is the biggest test of our movement since the election. Once again, victory is far from certain. Our opposition will be fierce, and they have been down this road before. To prevail, we must once more build a coast-to-coast operation ready to knock on doors, deploy volunteers, get out the facts, and show the world how real change happens in America.
And just like before, I cannot do it without your support.
So I'm asking you to remember all that you gave over the last two years to get us here -- all the time, resources, and faith you invested as a down payment to earn us our place at this crossroads in history. All that you've done has led up to this -- and whether or not our country takes the next crucial step depends on what you do right now.
I think the world of the President, in general. I know he will not embarrass us, he will not do overtly dumb things, he will often do good things, and occasionally very good things. But I'm starting to get a rather panicky feeling...
I've been listening to the debate the last several weeks, and all I hear is mandates and tax credits. And something about gateways or collectives. I know I didn't vote for that. I thought I was voting for universal health care. But this administration starts off by saying that we will never acheive that, so let's settle for some bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo and reforms and affordability and call it a day.
And then he asks me to throw my support behind it.
Look (as the President is so fond of saying), no person in this country should be unable to get healthcare because of an inability to pay. Ask me to work for that and I'm there tomorrow. But to ask me to work for a tax credit, for Clintonian incrementalism, for a no-illegals guarantee, for a public option -- well, as the President would say, "come on now."
Leading a mass movement requires embracing inspirational ideals. It requires pushing for the changes that the people are clamoring for. Many people like their insurance just fine, says the President. That's because they're not sick. To get welfare programs for the poor, people who are not poor had to be convinced to get on board. Mr. President, let's see you do some convincing that every American deserves health care, even if he/she can't scrape up the $890 a month it's going to cost.